WPPA Shootout = Walkabout + Flash Fu

I had a great time teaching fellow professional photographers at the recent Wisconsin PPA Shootout held at the beautiful Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.  The purpose of the shootout was to get us out of the standard dark lecture halls that we all have seen and used for “standard” seminars and to get us out shooting alongside our students, learning with cameras in hand.  Very cool, and my two and a half hour class flew by quickly because I had so much to cover.

The essence of my shootout was outdoor wedding and engagement photography– how to pick locations, how to work in sun and shade, how to pose and direct, and how to work fast.

We scheduled the start of the class at noon…the worst light of the day, of course.  But, that is the reality that we wedding photogs deal with.  Much of our location work needs to happen in the heart of the harshest light of the day.  The upside was that this gave me a good opportunity to teach everyone there how to work with full sun and incorporate high speed off-camera flash to even out the lighting and to create bold, saturated, stunning images.  These first few images were taken at the start of the class on the beach of Elkhart Lake — in brilliant full sun.

Michael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu wedding

In addition to the technical and creative aspects of shooting into the sun and using it as a backlight, I also taught some of my Walkabout techniques:  how to “see” locations, spots, angles, leading lines, colors, textures…whatever…that would make for excellent image settings.  These next images demonstrate some of the spots we found, all within the central courtyard at the Osthoff.

Michael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu wedding

Finally, we ended with a few images shot on the side of the lobby.  I wanted to demonstrate how to use off camera flash to balance the scene and hold detail in the outdoor scene visible through the window.  Then, how to work with ambient light, even if it was from incandescent lamps.  And to wrap it up, sometimes it is nice to just find great light and put the subject in it. :^P

Michael Mowbray workshop flash fu weddingMichael Mowbray workshop flash fu wedding
Michael Mowbray workshop flash fu wedding

Thank you to my wonderful volunteer models:  Eric and Lauren, and Mykola and Anastasia.

Anastasia Strukeln - March 1, 2011 - 9:18 pm

Hello Michael,
Mykola and I had such a lovely time modeling for you at the WPPA Fall shootout! I would really love to order some of the pictures and see what kind of products you have to choose from. I hope you still have the images! If you do, let me know what would be easier, making an appointment to come in to view the products and images or sending me product information through mail or email. I recently moved to the madison area, so any option works for me!
I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks again!

Anastasia Strukel

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